BETTER seasonal conditions and limited processor competition has many cattle producers holding finished livestock back from the saleyards so far this year, but that could be about to change next week.
Wagga Regional Livestock director Isaac Hill said the cooler temperatures and rain had given his clients additional options.
"There's not the urgency to sell right now and with plenty of feed available, they can hold onto their cattle longer," he said.
"In the past two weeks we had another 140 millimetres and we've been having a good season since May last year."
He said the disruption to the chain of production at the processing end due to COVID infections had also limited buyer activity at the saleyards and, in turn, vendors had opted to hold back stock until the issues were sorted out.
However, the processor situation was expected to start to ease into next week as more staff return to work.
"We saw a 10 to 12 cents a kilogram increase in the market at Wagga on Monday and that's a sign the processors are re-entering the market," Mr Hill said.
Nutrien Wagga agent Peter Cabot said there would normally be about 4000 head offered weekly at Wagga at this time of year, but last sale there were only 1090 head.
"There's heaps of feed, so people are happy to sit on the fence and retain their cattle in the paddock for now," Mr Cabot said.
"Anybody with heavier cattle to sell would not be selling them now."
Plasto and Company director Ross Plasto, Wellington, echoed the sentiments of agents further south, saying the better season and a reduction in the number of processors operating in the past fortnight had reduced supply at saleyards.
"The yardings at Dubbo have been smaller, which is not unusual for this time of year, however I feel in the next few weeks we will start to see supply pick up and the processors get back to work," he said.
"Vendors don't have to sell right now, so they are taking advantage of the extra time."
Tablelands Rural Agency director Michael Anderson, Bathurst, said any quality restocker or feeder cattle were in demand at the Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange, Carcoar, prime cattle sale on Tuesday.
"The feedlots and restockers were active and, as a result, the market was very strong for those lines," he said.
"The buyers working for processors were not as active, but I think in the next week we will start to see their buying increase."
He said one vendor was also a buyer, cashing in heifers and replacing them with steers to grow out.
The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator hit another milestone early this week, recording a price of 1191.5c/kg.
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